Legend says that you can hear the rooster’s crow in Taiwan even when you are in the Philippines. Well, they say that it’s possible when in you’re in the upper most islands of the country – Batanes. Taiwan is not so different if you happen to be a Meteor Garden fan like me, and since they have made travel, visa free, until July 2018, you still have time to explore the beauty Taiwan has to offer.
My travel was limited to Taipei since I went there for another purpose.
Given this, I will share with you 5 Things To Do in Taipei when you’re in a tight schedule. 🙂
1. FOOD TRIP
Taipei has a number of night markets you can go to, and these are the best sites for food trips! 🙂 For me, the best seller is the pork buns in Raohe Night Market. Raohe is a relatively smaller night market compared to others like Shilin, but the finds there are absolutely amazing. The Pork Buns are located at the entrance of the night market near the temple. You can easily find it since there is usually a line for those buying.
The Raohe pork buns are a bit spicy, so you should bring water just in case. They make the buns on the spot, so you can actually see how they prepare it. What’s unique about it is that they bake it using a special/traditional oven. 🙂
There are other things you can try out, here are some of the photos:
When In Raohe
Another highlight from Raohe, aside from the pork buns is the one-of-a-kind ice cream where smoke can be blown from your nose. 🙂 The vendor is so friendly, he even made it a point to speak a little Filipino. He will even take your photo/video. He really makes sure that you will enjoy the experience. 🙂 Keep in mind that you need to follow his orientation first before eating your smoking ice cream! 🙂
Here’s a few shots of my ice cream experience! 🙂
When in Shilin
Probably the most famous night market in Taipei is Shilin Night Market. For an introvert like me, there’s just so much people!!! I felt really exhausted after the stay. We agot lost there, but it’s just a small area, so we easily found our way back. 🙂 It is near 2 train stations so it’s very accessible.
Other Food Trip Opportunities
If you are fond of coffee, tea and milk tea, Taipei is one of the best places to go. Actually, my first meal there was in a cafe which offers coffee and meals. There are also various restaurants both Japanese and Korean inspired, and of course authentic Taiwanese. For first time budget travelers, Mcdonald’s can also be a good place to eat. :p
2. HISTORICAL TOURS
Taiwan boasts of a rich history and there are many historical areas in the island. One of these is the Chang Kai Shek memorial hall where one of the nation’s leaders was immortalized through a structure/statue.
Aside from this, there are numerous historical areas in Taipei including their national museum and the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, among others. Appreciating a country’s history should definitely be part of one’s top five things to do, since it will give you a glimpse of how the country has become what it is now, even if you are just staying for a few days.
3. CULTURAL TOURS
Aside from its rich historical preservation, Taipei also has a rich culture and there are many ways to be familiar with this. For me, a trip to Maokong (the TEA capital of Taipei), is a must! Maokong is very near the Taipei Zoo so you might want to drop by also, you just need to go there early so you can enjoy both places.
To reach Maokong, just ride the train going to Taipei Zoo Station. You can ride a taxi or -the more fun – cable car from there. 🙂
The cable car is located in the top most floor, so you might need to be ready for that climb. Upon reaching the area, you just need to line up. There are 2 lines – one is for the regular cable cars and the other for the glass bottom cable car. If you have the heart for it, ride the glass bottom so you can see a more full view going to Maokong.
Upon reaching Maokong, you can visit different tea shops and food establishments. There is also a nice view there because it is located on top of a mountain. We did not have much time, but you can also try to find shops that have a better view which you might hike. 🙂
There are many things to buy and many places to shop in Taipei. Both Raohe and Shilin have many shopping areas aside from food.
Raohe and Shilin Shopping Stalls
Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop
Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop located at No. 298, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District offers a wide range of Lanterns that you can bring home as a souvenir. There are elegant hand-painted lanterns which costs around 1,000 – 2,000 pesos each, but there are also cheap items such as fans and scarves. The shop is located in an alley, so it might be difficult to find. I suggest that you go there in the morning / afternoon since the location is a bit scary at night.
Eslite 24-hour bookstore
As a bookworm, I was looking forward to a trip to a 24-hour bookstore. However, since I had limited budget for this trip, I was not able to fully enjoy the stay here since the items sold are quite pricey. Aside from that, my feet were aching from all the walking in Shilin Night Market, and the bookstore was quite far from the train station. However, if you have the budget, this store offers not only books but stationeries and different cute items like the pop-up Harry Potter book above. They also have a place for you to eat sort of like a food court (not 24 hours though). There’s also Starbucks there, but it’s not 24 hours as well.
Local markets offer different items at affordable prices. Going around a local market near Taipei 101 and near our hotel (Charming City Hotel) we were able to find a school / office / stationery supplies store! It has everything in it! PENS! ALL COLORS! Post its! Cute Notebooks! Hooray!
There are many great areas to visit in Taipei. One of them is Taipei 101. Taipei streets at night are also a sight to behold because of all the lights. 🙂 Here are some of my shots.
Aside from these things, there are many more areas to explore not only in Taipei, but also in nearby places. For me, Taipei is one of the best cities I have been to because people are warmer and friendlier to tourists than in other Asian countries, the place is relatively safe, and there are many areas to explore!
MANILA – TAIPEI – MANILA can be as cheap as 5,000 – 7,000 round trip when there are promos. You can try to scout around or follow local travel agencies like from friends at Metro Wanderer Services (www.facebook.com/travelpisofare).
So, there’s my #ThankfulTaipeiTrip last November 2017. Hope you can visit and enjoy the place as I did! God bless! 🙂